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Why so many early named storms? Kate Wentzel explains

Named storm has formed before June 1 each year since 2015
'Early Storms Since 2015' May 20, 2021 graphic
Posted at 6:12 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 18:12:39-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Although the National Hurricane Center isn't moving up the start of the Atlantic hurricane season from June 1, it is now issuing tropical weather outlooks on May 15, beginning this year.

Tropical and subtropical systems have formed in every single month of the year, but the traditional season from June to November includes 97% of hurricane activity.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

Since 2000, just about every other year, there has been a storm before June 1.

In fact, a named storm has developed before June 1 for the last six years.

'Early Storms Since 2015' May 20, 2021 graphic

So is climate change playing a role?

Even though the number of named storms has increased over the decades, there is no direct link to the number of storms and a warming world. However, climate change can have an impact on the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.

In a warmer climate, the atmosphere can hold more water and therefore has the ability to bring more extreme rainfall.

With sea levels rising, storms will also bring more flooding to low-lying areas.

Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall to Houston in 2017, when it dumped 127 billion tons of water.

Even though the system currently east of Bermuda isn't a threat to Florida, it's a great reminder to have a hurricane plan in place.